But the win was accompanied by a terrifying moment in the final set, where the 22-time Grand Slam champion was in the blood.
As the Spaniard reached out to return a backhand to Fognini, Nadal’s racket bounced off the court and inadvertently hit him in the face.
Nadal quickly held his nose, dropping his racket and losing the point. He lay by the referee’s bench on the court and took his hand off his nose to show that the blood had started to flow.
He required a medical timeout to receive an injury caution and later returned to close out the set. After the win, Nadal downplayed his injury, saying, “Honestly, it hurt a little bit, but it was good.”
“(It was) just a hard blow. At first it was a shock, so at first I thought I had (broken) my nose. It hurt a lot,” Nadal explained.
“I’ve lost a little bit[I don’t know how to say it in English]. It’s about being away from the world for a while.
“I don’t know. (It doesn’t seem to have collapsed.) I don’t know yet. I don’t know.
He smiled and joked.
Not only did Nadal come back from a nosebleed, he also had to fight back from a rare start.
The Spaniard had 27 unforced errors in the first two sets and dropped serve four times in a row. He called it “probably one of the worst starts ever”.
“But it’s part of the game. You have to stay humble and you have to accept the situation. It hasn’t been an easy month for me, so I know these kinds of things can happen. It’s another chance for me.I’m still alive after a match like this.It means a lot.
The win means he faces Richard Gasquet in the third round of the US Open. Nadal famously won all 17 matches against the Frenchman.